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Who's Buried Where? - Book Review

Find out where past kings and queens of England are buried. Discover the last resting places of artists, poets, writers and composers. Learn how past prime ministers have been commemorated. Who’s Buried Where? is a small book providing a wealth of information about where you can find memorials to the great and the good.

Initially I found it hard to decide how to approach reviewing this small book – sent to me for review purposes by the publishers, Abson Books. In essence it contains two lists:
1) Royal Families
2) Famous People

There is a comprehensive listing of abbreviations at the start of the book (for instance Bt for Baronet and M for Murdered) to help the you wend your way through the information provided.

Whilst many of the people in the book are buried in London or the home counties some are found further afield, including John Knox (Edinburgh) and Harold Wilson (Isles of Scilly). Many of the burial places are well known landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. There are gems of knowledge to be unearthed. I had no idea that Robert Adam - a Scottish architect of mixed fortunes - was buried in Westminster Abbey, or that the composer Handel had a memorial in Poet’s Corner. Not everybody in the book has had a traditional memorial/burial – the author Daphne de Maurier’s ashes were scattered in Cornwall; most of Thomas Hardy’s body is buried in London, but his heart is in Dorset – the county of his soul, immortalised through his novels.

I would have liked to see further divisions/chapters within the book – for instance a section on artistic people, another on politicians etc. This would make the information easier to navigate and more accessible. Having said this I think that Who’s Buried Where? is a valuable reference book useful for students, travellers and those interested in history and English culture.

Who’s Buried Where was originally compiled by Fred Delaney. The edition I have is the 2010 edition updated by Ian Godfrey who says he has corrected errors and added information to what he found an invaluable booklet. The front cover is graced by the tomb of Mary Queen of Scots, a woman passionate for her country who met an unfortunate end through execution – a fate decreed by Elizabeth I of England.


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